Towards the Third World March

Towards the Third World March for Peace and Nonviolence

The presence of Rafael de la Rubia, creator of the World March for Peace and Nonviolence and coordinator of the first two editions, made it possible to organize a series of meetings in Italy to launch the third World March, scheduled for October 2, 2024. to January 5, 2025, with departure and arrival in San José de Costa Rica. The first of these meetings took place on Saturday, February 4 in Bologna, at the Women's Documentation Center. Rafael took advantage of the occasion to briefly recall the two editions of the march. The first, which began in New Zealand on October 2, 2009 and ended in Punta de Vacas on January 2, 2010, brought together more than 2.000 organizations around the project. Given the importance of the themes of peace and nonviolence and the strong symbolic value that the first World March immediately acquired, for the second it was decided to change the paradigm and try to organize a new march based on grassroots activities, without an organization. centralized. The success of the March for Peace and Nonviolence 2018 in Latin America allowed us to verify that this type of approach works. Thus began the project of the second World March. It began in Madrid on October 2, 2019 and ended in the Spanish capital on March 8, 2020. It had the participation of more local organizations than the previous March and lasted several more days, despite the problems generated, especially in Italy. , due to the outbreak of the Covid19 pandemic.

For this reason, De la Rubia gave clues about the path to follow at the local level in the months prior to the start of the third march. Tracks that touch all levels, from the personal motivation of the activists to the social significance of individual events and the march as a whole. Each individual involved in the march must feel that he is performing a valid action, in which his feelings, his intellect, and his action converge coherently. What is achieved must have the characteristic of being exemplary, that is, even if it is small, it must improve the quality of life of the community. In this first phase, in Italy, the will of the local committees is being collected: for now, the committees of Alto Verbano, Bologna, Florence, Fiumicello Villa Vicentina, Genoa, Milan, Apulia (with the intention of creating a passage to the Middle East), Reggio Calabria, Rome, Turin, Trieste, Varese.

Bologna, February 4, Women's Documentation Center
Bologna, February 4, Women's Documentation Center

February 5, Milan. In the morning the Nocetum Center was visited. World without Wars and without Violence had organized the "March along the Path" on January 5. We experienced some of the stages of the Monks' Way, which links the Po River with the Via Francigena (the ancient Roman road that linked Rome with Canterbury). In Nocetum (reception center for women in situations of helplessness and social fragility and their children), Rafael was received by the joyful songs of some guests and their children. He once again insisted on how important personal and daily commitment is, in simple actions that are concrete foundations for building a society without conflicts, which is the basis of a world without wars. In the afternoon, in a cafe near a square that houses a bomb shelter built in 1937 during World War II, he met with some Milanese activists. Over tea and coffee, all the issues already discussed during the Bologna meeting were resumed.

Milan, February 5, Nocetum Center
Milan, February 5, informal meeting in a room next to a bomb shelter built in 1937, before World War II

February 6th. Rome in the Casa Umanista (San Lorenzo neighborhood) an Apricena with the Roman committee for the promotion of the WM, listening to the creator of the World March. At this stage of the path towards the Third World March, it is very important to have the spirit that animates all those who set out to create, even at a distance, a deep union.

Rome, February 6, Casa Umanista

February 7th. The presence of De la Rubia was used to organize a virtual meeting between Nuccio Barillà (Legambiente, promoter committee of the World March of Reggio Calabria), Tiziana Volta (World without Wars and Violence), Alessandro Capuzzo (peace table of the FVG) and Silvano Caveggion (nonviolent activist from Vicenza), on the theme “Mediterranean sea of ​​peace and free of Nuclear Weapons. Nuccio launched an interesting proposal. That of inviting Rafael during the next edition of Corrireggio (a foot race that is held every year on April 25 and that is now 40 years old). During the previous week, various events have always been organized on topics such as reception, the environment, peace and non-violence. One of them could be during the crossing of the Strait to relaunch the "Mediterranean, Sea of ​​Peace" project (born during the Second World March, in which the western Mediterranean march was also held), with links to other Mediterranean territories. The proposal was very well received by the other attendees at the virtual meeting.

February 8, Perugia. A journey that began about two and a half years ago, the meeting with David Grohmann (researcher and associate professor at the Department of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Sciences at the University of Perugia, Director of the University Center for Scientific Museums) during the planting of a Hibakujumoku Hiroshima in the Garden of the Righteous in San Matteo degli Armeni. The subsequent meeting with Elisa del Vecchio (associate professor of the Department of Philosophy, Social Sciences and Humanities of the University of Perugia. She is the contact person of the University for the Network of "Universities for Peace" and for the "University Network for Children in Armed Conflict"). A series of appointments, including participation in an event during the first edition of the Book Festival for Peace and Nonviolence in Rome in June 2022 and a webinar with students on the World March. Now the meeting with Professor Maurizio Oliveiro (Rector of the University), a very intense moment of great listening and discussion to continue together the path started in Italy but also internationally, creating synergies with other universities that are already involved in the path. of the March of the Third World. There was also time to take a leap to the place where it all began... the library of San Matteo degli Armeni, which is also the headquarters of the Aldo Capitini Foundation (founder of the Italian Nonviolent Movement and creator of the Perugia-Assisi March, which is now celebrating 61 years). There the flag of the first March is preserved, but since June 2020 also that of the second World March, blessed among others by Pope Francis during the audience in which a delegation from the March was present, with the presence of Rafael himself of the blonde

Perugia, February 8 San Matteo degli Armeni Library that houses the Aldo Capitini Foundation

An official starting gun in Italy after the turbulent end of 2020, when the pandemic prevented the passage of the international delegation. And despite this, the enthusiasm, the desire to continue together are still there, with the great awareness and concreteness of the moment we are living.

Editing, photos and video: Tiziana Volta

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